HomeNEWSAkwa Ibom Community demands N117b from Sterling Oil, alleges encroachment, destruction of ancestral shrine

Akwa Ibom Community demands N117b from Sterling Oil, alleges encroachment, destruction of ancestral shrine

Akwa Ibom Community demands N117b from Sterling Oil, alleges encroachment, destruction of ancestral shrine

 

 

Ukpana community in Onna Local Government area of Akwa Ibom state has demanded the sum of N117bn as compensation from the Sterling Oil Production and Exploration company over alleged encroachment in their land, destruction of their means of livelihood, as well as displacement of their ancestral shrine without any form of appeasement.

The community, which also alleged that there was no Environmental Impact Assessment and formal agreement made with it before the encroachment, claimed that the destruction of its ancestral homes had provoked the anger of their gods, who have continued to visit them with “unwarranted deaths” in the community.

The community stated these through the Special Assistant to the President of the Akwa Ibom Oil Producing Community Network on Environment and Project Monitoring, Mr. Iniobong Akpan, at the village Town Hall, Ukpana, Onna Local Government area of the State.

Akpan stated that the company in the process of constructing an access road to the Appraisal Wells Drilling Site in Ibotio Oil Field- OML 13, allegedly destroyed their means of livelihood, including farmlands, economic trees, water bodies, cementeries and ancestral homes.

According to him, “The village has suffered an unwarranted trespass and destruction of their property perpetuated by the Sterling Oil Exploration and Production company through oil exploratory activities. The massive destruction occurred during the construction of access road to the Appraisal Wells Drilling Site in Ibotio Oil Field-OML 13 and the company’s operational base.

“The said destruction affected both economic crops and trees, streams, namely: Idim Mkpighe, Idim Uto, Etuk Enyeng, Adaha Ukim, Idim Akpan Akwa, Idim Judah among others . Affected are swamps including Mbat James Udo, Mbat Ikang Eta, among others.

“The village-owned property such as oil Palm trees, raffia palms, pineapples, plantation, cementry– Uwa Iban Cementry, Iso Mbubiam, Akpa Mbiam as well as ancestral shrines- Nku-ku Ikot Inwang, Ikpaisong Ubop Owo etc were destroyed without appeasement and relocation which now cause unwarranted deaths in the community”.

He alleged that following the massive destruction, the community’s land had been polluted, while their streams and water bodies, including aquatic lives, have been destroyed, causing hardship to the community.

In a reaction, the consultant to the company, Engr. Fabian Ebri said the project was a federal government project owned by the Nigeria Petroleum Development company and the company is just a technical partner.

His words, “the project is an NPDC project and the company is just a technical partner. It’s a federal government project, and I don’t believe that the Federal Government will commit such a blunder. Even the state government is in the know of what is happening, the Federal Ministry of Environment is also in the picture and they know every bit of what is going on.

“But I have found a situation where most communities just come up with frivolous allegations in a bit to extract good money. That is exactly what is going on. The lawyers too are stiring up such communities to write to get a piece of the action. All these things are going on. Normally, when they go through the lawyers to make these demands, it’s forwarded to the company’s headquarters in Lagos, who will work in collaboration with NPDC to respond.”

 

 

 

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